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The secret to hobby success (and failure).

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I have a small collection of hobbies that I rotate around. Typically, I start with boundless energy and enthusiasm and I start to consume every corner of the Internet searching for titbits and morsels.

I research and I plan and then I start spending money. I accumulate books, models, components, tools. I'm pro! I'm going to be the best wargamer/photographer/electronics guru/roboteer/web guru/model railrader/car mechanic/miniature painter/walrus polisher/amateur radio operator/whatever the world has ever seen!

Bear in mind that at this point I've so far achieved nothing with my new hobby.

It's at this point that the doubt starts to set in.

I realise that I didn't research or plan quite as thoroughly as I should have done before I started spending money. I realise that I've set myself goals far in excess of the capabilities of a beginner. It's then that the enthusiasm starts to wane.

I start surfing less than I did. The books I bought find their way from the top of my bedside locker into its drawers. The tools and other hobby items find their way to the garage and all of a sudden, brand new items start appearing on eBay at knock down prices.

I get bored. All of a sudden, I have nothing to do in the evenings. "You know what you need," I tell myself "You need a hobby!"

And so the cycle starts again.

I've done this countless times. I've been clearing out the house in preparation for my move to France and I've found thousands of pounds of fallout from failed hobbies.

And I've worked out what the problem is. You have to enjoy the actual "doing" of the hobby and not just the preparing for the hobby.

The trick is to start! Don't plan. Don't research. Just do!

Start with what you have. If you have nothing, beg or borrow. Only put your hand in your pocket if you absolutely have to and start small. Find a community where you can get help, support and advise from those who have done it all before. Pretty soon, you'll know if the hobby is right for you or not and if it's not, you'll come away a little wiser but hopefully no poorer. What's more, by just doing it, you'll get a little better and your new hobby will have more chance of success for that reason alone.

Updated 15-11-2010 at 10:37 AM by David

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  1. Darklord's Avatar
    good advice!
  2. Boris's Avatar
    tis good advice indeed.
  3. warhammergrimace's Avatar
    Yep I'd agree with that, if you want free rules then check out my blog on here and my this page on my Historical blog;

    There should be something or several items amongst those pages that may interest you and best of all they're free.
  4. Havoc7926's Avatar
    I can soooooo relate to this post. Very sound advice. I think I should perhaps print this and put it next to my monitor and force myself to read it every time I log on to do some research.
  5. Noddwyr's Avatar
    Good advice I think, i do much the same as you for most of my hobbies and did the same for this hobby but for some reason have managed to stick with this one. Sad part is I spend more time doing research than I do painting.
  6. frogimus's Avatar
    Wow! That's how I tend to approach things. I believe I enjoy the collecting and planning more than the doing sometimes.
  7. David's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    And thanks for the links WG.
  8. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
    I think most of us would recognise a little bit of ourselves in there David, good advice for newcomers & old hands. Good luck with your move.
  9. exilesjjb's Avatar
    I am nothing like that...ok my piles of climbing gear in the loft and my golf clubs in the garage and... I guess maybe I can see what you mean :). Good to know I am not the only one I always say I am compulsive about my hobbys it all or nothing with me.
  10. White tiger's Avatar
    I ama little like that...although i seem to rotate around 3 or 4 hobbies :P